Authored By John Nicholson

Wow, well, that is 20 great albums (Ok 19, I never got on with Kiss). What initially stands out is how broad the genre we called rock back then really was. Here it’s everything from the Stones, to Tull to Sparks to Eno. 1974 was they year Bad Company formed and their entry at 3 for a new act is notable. They were so big in the USA from the get-go. They were the right band at the right time.

Progressive rock had probably already peaked in popularity with only ELP’s classic triple live album representing the genre here, along with Todd’s first Utopia album. Nice to see Robin Trower’s classic album get a nod too, such a beautiful record. 

Of course the Stones were still massive but I’m surprised this album topped this chart. I’d have put it nearer the bottom. It's not their best of the era by far.

That Sparks made this list is also quite remarkable. While it was popular in UK making #4 it only got to #101 in the USA. It's a uniquely eclectic mix of, well, what is it? Pop-prog? Produced by Muff Winwood, Steve’s brother, they had two hit singles - This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us (UK#2) and Amateur Hour (UK#7) in the UK but they didn’t chart in the USA either. So there must’ve been something about the album which really appealed to Creem’s readers, even if not commercially in America more broadly. 

One last thing. Every record on this is regarded now, 46 year later, as a classic. Will we be able to say that about today’s album charts in 46 years time? I very much doubt it. 

  1. Rolling Stones- It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)
  2. David Bowie- Diamond Dogs
  3. Bad Company- Bad Co.
  4. David Bowie- David Live
  5. Roxy Music- Stranded
  6. Elton John- Caribou
  7. Emerson, Lake & Palmer- Welcome Back My Friends...
  8. Lou Reed- Rock 'n' Roll Animal
  9. Robin Trower- Bridge Of Sighs
  10. The Who- Odds and Sods
  11. Todd Rundgren's Utopia
  12. Jethro Tull- War Child
  13. New York Dolls- In Too Much, Too Soon
  14. Bachman-Turner Overdrive- Not Fragile
  15. Sparks- Kimono My House
  16. Mott The Hoople- The Hoople
  17. Kiss
  18. Eno- Here Come The Warm Jets
  19. Mott The Hoople- Mott Live
  20. Blue Oyster Cult- Secret Treaties

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